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Bachelorette 13 - Rachel Lindsay - ALL BLOGS- NO Discussion - *NO SPOILERS* - *SLEUTHING*

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Bachelorette 13 - Rachel Lindsay - ALL BLOGS- NO Discussion - *NO SPOILERS* - *SLEUTHING*

Post by GuardianAngel on Tue May 23, 2017 3:51 pm

Thread for all blogs. No discussion!


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Re: Bachelorette 13 - Rachel Lindsay - ALL BLOGS- NO Discussion - *NO SPOILERS* - *SLEUTHING*

Post by Ladybug82 on Tue May 23, 2017 3:55 pm

Chris Harrison Blogs ‘The Bachelorette’ Season 13 Premiere

Welcome back, Bachelor Nation! It feels like it’s been forever. Since the last time we talked, we’ve been around the world and back with Rachel, and let me tell you right now, you are about to embark upon the most romantic, dramatic journey in years! Rachel is obviously someone you all grew to love on Nick’s season of The Bachelor, but now you’re going to have a few months to really get to know her even better, and I am confident you are going to become even more enamored with her than you already are.

Rachel and Copper the dog came into The Bachelorette looking for someone they could share a life with, and we were equally determined to make that happen for her, which is why Rachel got to meet 31 men, the most in Bachelorette history! (Actually it’s 32 if you count Adam Jr.)

The upside of 31 men is that you have seemingly unlimited options. The downside is that it makes that first rose ceremony even harder. It was very important for Rachel to spend at least a few minutes talking to every single man, and she found a way to do it. It was one of the longest first nights in history, but by the end of the night she was confident in which relationships had potential and was able to begin what will soon become a long streak of difficult breakups.

One thing you should know about Rachel going into this season is that she is tough. She is no pushover, she will not take anyone’s crap — but she’s also much more sensitive than she likes to let on at first. Even the first rose ceremony was hard for her. Not because she was tired, but because she hated sending men home. She hated hurting anyone’s feelings. I think you’ll see that every single goodbye is hard for her this season — spoiler alert: except for one guy — and as the pool of men starts dwindling, each rose ceremony takes even more of a toll on her.

The first night always has some really fun moments, but I think this first night was one of the freshest and funniest ever. Blake brought a marching band. Brady brought a block of ice. Bryan brought the heat with a pretty passionate first kiss. We provided a bevy of men whose names start with “B.” Adam brought a doll he made. Matt came dressed as a penguin (and I must admit this new trend of people in animal costumes is both exhilarating and frightening). One thing all the men knew coming in was that Rachel has an infectious laugh and great smile, and they all did their best to make sure those pearly whites came out. Rachel was overwhelmed at times, but she was never bored. And any time the energy of the party started lagging, Lucas was always right there with a “Whabooom” — whatever that is.

These men are here for Rachel and the competition is going to be fierce. As you saw in our full-season tease, we have amazing travel ahead of us and more drama than you can shake a penguin’s wing at. We can’t wait to spend our summer with you. See you next week when the romantic dates kick off. Until then, find me at @chrisbharrison.
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Re: Bachelorette 13 - Rachel Lindsay - ALL BLOGS- NO Discussion - *NO SPOILERS* - *SLEUTHING*

Post by Ladybug82 on Tue May 23, 2017 3:58 pm

Rachel Lindsay Dishes On Having the 'Hottest First Kiss of My Life' During Her Bachelorette Debut

Rachel Lindsay vied for Nick Viall‘s heart on season 21 of The Bachelor, now she’s on her own journey to find love on the latest season of The Bachelorette — and she’s blogging about it exclusively for PEOPLE! Follow Rachel on Twitter at @TheRachLindsay!

As I sit down to write this first blog a million things are rushing through my head. It still feels so surreal that I’m the newest Bachelorette. I never expected this journey to be something that would ever work for me. When I first arrived at the mansion to meet Nick I was skeptical, and yet somehow found myself falling in love anyway.

As things neared an end in Finland, I was certainly looking towards an engagement. However, looking back, I know now that we weren’t meant to be. It’s taken time to get over the heartbreak and mild hypothermia that Finland left me with, yet I hold no regrets because the transformation I went through on that journey prepared me for the one that started this season.

You may remember me as the doubter but I’d like to introduce you to the believer. And this time it isn’t about whether I can let myself fall in love; it’s about finding that forever love that raises above everything I’ve ever felt.

The magnitude of it all hit me as I packed my bags and said goodbye to my life in Dallas. I knew the next time I came back everything in my life would be different. My sister Constance was midway through her pregnancy with her second child and saying goodbye to her and her growing family reminded of the ultimate goal: creating my own family. To get there I had to step away from practicing law again. I spent much of my adult life focusing on my career and I take pride in my achievements in my field. But hitting the switch and changing from lawyer Rachel to Rachel the Bachelorette was as difficult as it was necessary to find my husband.

I got my first surprise of the season while I was having send-off drinks with my girlfriends at my favorite bar in Dallas, HG Supply, when former Bachelorette JoJo Fletcher dropped in! She wished me luck and gave me a bit of advice on how to handle the Chads and challenges ahead. JoJo is as sweet and smart as she is beautiful, and knowing how she and Jordan have successfully navigated it all together made her insights priceless.

Pulling up to the mansion to talk to my squad of girlfriends from Nick’s season opened up a floodgate of memories. My first chat with Nick by the fireplace, the bathroom I hid in when my feelings overwhelmed me, the driveway where Corinne inflated her bouncy house. So much has changed in my life since then.

I know it’s tradition for the new Bachelorette to chat with ex-Bachelorettes before the first night starts, but I already had met with JoJo briefly and just because something is tradition doesn’t mean it’s right for me. This time I called on my girls Whitney, Corinne, Alexis, Astrid, Jasmine, Raven and Kristina because they have known me at my best and worst and their advice is intimate.

My friends didn’t hold back on judging the four men I met at After the Final Rose. They were totally Team Eric because he made me dance and brought out the fun loving “Big Rach” side of me that they had all fallen in love with on Nick’s season. They were not so hot on nervous Blake E. or “ready to go black and never go back” Dean, but I know to still kept an open mind considering how nervous I was when I introduced myself to Nick. I got the feeling some of the girls were already picking out who they wanted me to send home so maybe they’d have a chance to date them on the next season of Paradise [*cough* Jasmine *cough*].

Later as the sun set and I slipped into my gown, I felt that weight on my shoulders again. Not just the weight of my very heavily beaded gown but that of opening my heart up again. I know the risks that come with that. But men from all over the country were waiting in limo after limo, putting their lives on hold just for an opportunity and if I didn’t allow myself to fall from the very start, it wasn’t going to work again. I took a deep breath, made a wish, stepped up to the front of the mansion and just let go.

I was so excited for the limos to pull up it (almost) overcame my nerves. This girl loves surprises, puns, corny jokes and romance. Thankfully my guys’ arrivals hit all of those notes.

When handsome Peter walked up, I took his hands and felt them trembling in mine, and it hit me — these guys are as nervous as I am! Lucas‘ megaphone shtick had me in stitches, though I was concerned he may have concussed himself with the head rattling “Whaaaaboom!”

I realized some the guys had done their homework when Alex danced into my life with a vacuum cleaner like I had in my introduction on Nick’s season. Blake E. totally made up for the awkward moment we shared at After the Final Rose by marching back into my life with an entire band. Thank God I peed before “Ticklemonster” Jonathan’s limo exit because I’m seriously ticklish. I was already recalling the sage advice of my dear friend Alexis, “don’t judge anyone who shows up in a costume” when Matt waddled out of his limo in a penguin costume.

By the time the last man had entered the mansion, it was clear I had a diverse group of guys which was perfect because I seriously don’t have a type. At that moment I realized one of these guys could be my future husband. Now I had to go inside and find him.

I was more nervous for the cocktail party than the limos because now I had to actually talk to 30 men! Luckily they did most the talking because that first night is more about getting to know them, not just them getting to know me. My greatest fear that night was having to start the rose ceremony and having to make decisions I would regret, so I really wanted to talk to each and every guy.

Josiah’s story about his troubled childhood leading him to becoming a prosecutor and community organizer made me second guess my “no dating lawyers” mantra.

The most shocking moment came when I sat with Frederick, whom I have known since we were in grade school. Although I had a handsome grown man sitting in front of me all I could see is the trouble-making 5-year-old I had put in time-out countless times as a camp counselor.  I knew I wanted to give him, and to be honest mostly myself the opportunity to see him as a grown man — but knew it was something that I’d have to work on.

Then there was Bryan. Can we talk about Bryan for a second? I don’t really hablo Espanõl, but his love language certainly spoke to me because before I had time to translate what he was saying he was kissing me … and I liked it. That actually was the hottest first kiss of my life.

Talking to Kenny about his daughter already had me picturing what life would look like outside of this experience. It was so cute to see a big tough pro wrestler turn into a teddy bear when speaking about his family. The “cocktail” portion of the cocktail party definitely became a focus with some guys like Mo who seemed to drown their nerves in booze and forgot to talk to me.

The end of the night was a whirlwind as the remaining men made valiant efforts to get time with me. Suddenly Chris Harrison dropped the First Impression Rose and I realized it was already decision time. There were a dozen guys I could have given it to for a dozen different reasons, but the truth was I was looking for romance and one guy had made my heart race that night … Bryan. I didn’t expect to kiss anyone this soon, but expectations are made to be broken on journeys like this.

Ugh, the rose ceremony was tough. I struggle with hurting people’s feelings, and I can’t really explain how difficult it was to say goodbye to men who had come so far and shown me so much respect and consideration that evening. As unhappy as I was to see them leave that night, I knew I had to trust my gut and follow my heart. I wish I had a hundred nights to get to know all these men before I had to make my choices but time is precious here. You have to carefully choose who to share it with. At the end of the evening, I had empathy but not regret.

It was a relief to make it through the first evening, and I was more eager than ever to get started dating! I was certainly right to be excited because I have some of the most amazing dates you’ve ever seen coming up.

Next week I get swept off my feet! Unfortunately, I also have the rug completely pulled out from under me. How? You’ll have to tune in to find out!

I’ll just say that one man convinces me this all could work while another makes my worst fears come true. You’ll see me cry, curse someone out and have one of the Most! Dramatic! Cocktail Parties! Ever! … and this is just next week!
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Re: Bachelorette 13 - Rachel Lindsay - ALL BLOGS- NO Discussion - *NO SPOILERS* - *SLEUTHING*

Post by Ladybug82 on Tue Jun 06, 2017 4:27 pm

Chris Harrison Blogs ‘The Bachelorette’ Week 3

Welcome back, Bachelor Nation! Every week feels like an eternity when you’re waiting for the conclusion of the epic drama from last week to unfold. This week was no exception.

I think most of us in Bachelor Nation were pretty sure that Rachel wasn’t going to give DeMario another chance, but it was good to see it all play out. The rest of the men were right there beside her and cheering her on as she declined to spend any more time in the past, and chose to move right into the future. The party overall was so lively, with Jonathan’s giant hands and all the men vying for her time, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything so unusual as the ongoing feud between Lucas and Blake. Lucas had bizarre accusations and Blake had equally bizarre answers to those accusations. I think at this point it was taking so long for Rachel to even figure out what was going on she decided to just start over and send them both home, letting them figure it out for themselves.

And they did exactly that, which was something we had truly never seen in our many years at the Bachelor Mansion. These two guys went at it for a solid twenty minutes. I wish you could have seen all of it, but there was simply too much to show you. Not to say that you missed anything, because it was basically this same fight over and over again — but man, this truly was one of the strangest endings to a night I’d ever seen.

With the great whaboom behind us we finally were able to get back to dates, and this week was a doozy. Ellen DeGeneres was kind enough to have us over to her stage for a show and a good time. The men were unbelievably excited and the audience was right there with them. There was booty shaking for charity, and a very telling set of questions and answers that led to a pretty interesting night ahead with Rachel’s younger suitor, Fred.

Ah, Fred. Truly, if things had gone a little differently there is no question this would have been one of the greatest love stories ever told, but it was not to be. Rachel was already having a hard time with the idea of dating him, but then when he asked if he could kiss her — well, I think that was the last nail in the casket. She sent him home after that fateful kiss and in some ways, it was merciful. Fred is a hopeless romantic and I think he’ll keep looking for love, but I don’t think he’ll be bringing his yearbook along with him anymore.

The one-on-one date was something we had only ever dreamt of doing, but there was no one more suited than Rachel for it. You can take the girl out of Dallas, but you can’t take the Dallas out of the girl. Some of the shops out there on Rodeo Drive and Beverly Hills were nice enough (and had big enough doors) to let Rachel and Anthony bring their horses inside. This date was one of those that could only ever happen in Los Angeles, and the moonlight dance capped off an amazing evening. Anthony is a little slow to open up, but I think this date was a big step for him. Hopefully he can keep moving forward and not retreat into his shell.

And the final group date taught us a valuable lesson: Don’t let Alexis, Corinne, Jasmine, and Raven plan anything. Then again, a mud wrestling competition was just about exactly what the doctor ordered. Kenny was the most confident I’d ever seen him. No one else had a chance, but in his kindness, Kenny may have accidentally allowed himself to lose. I actually think it said a lot as far as Kenny’s character goes. There is no way the average man with that advantage wouldn’t have totally slaughtered the other guys, but not Kenny, who helped the other men learn some moves and made sure a fun time was had by all. And it was, until the after party.

There’s no reason to even get into the he said, she said of this group date and the aftermath at the cocktail party this week, but there’s one thing we are becoming sure of… Some of these men are absolutely willing to throw each other under the bus for a chance with Rachel. This is only the beginning of a pretty elaborate fight that lasts a while. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen as much passion in the Bachelor Mansion as I saw this week, and when we come back next week, you’ll see just how quickly things really heat up. Until then, we’ll see you on twitter @chrisbharrison — have a great week!
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Re: Bachelorette 13 - Rachel Lindsay - ALL BLOGS- NO Discussion - *NO SPOILERS* - *SLEUTHING*

Post by Ladybug82 on Tue Jun 06, 2017 4:33 pm

Rachel Lindsay's Bachelorette Blog: Ladies, We May Have a Unicorn in Our Midst
BY RACHEL LINDSAY
POSTED ON JUNE 6, 2017 AT 3:01PM EDT

Rachel Lindsay vied for Nick Viall‘s heart on season 21 of The Bachelor, now she’s on her own journey to find love on the latest season of The Bachelorette — and she’s blogging about it exclusively for PEOPLE! Follow Rachel on Twitter at @TheRachLindsay!

Hi guys, welcome back to Big Rach’s blog!

It’s only been a couple weeks of dates, and I’ve already been both swept off my feet and tripped up by some of the drama. Honestly, though, I’m feeling 100 about this all working out. In fact, I have so many good guys left I was feeling a little overwhelmed trying to get to know them by myself, so I planned for some backup to come help me out with the dates this week.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s wrap up the cocktail party and talk about DeMario. The real reason I walked out to the driveway and agreed to hear what DeMario had to say is not because I had any intentions of welcoming him back into my group of guys; rather, I wanted the opportunity to hear what he had to say and put closure to it once and for all.

A small part of me appreciated his effort to come back and speak to me again after the dressing-down I gave him on the court. But when he couldn’t help but start in with excuses I knew this guy had a lot of learning to do before he was ready for any kind of real relationship. I hope he watches this back and learns from it.

Going back into the cocktail I was worried the night wouldn’t be able to pull out of the nosedive it had taken. Then I sat down with Alex and watched him solve a Rubik’s cube while charming me with conversation and realized I had some men, and possibly unicorns, here that are amazing; I was not going to let the foolish actions of DeMario continue to distract me from them.

As the night progressed, after my conversations with Blake and Lucas and seeing them concentrate on sabotaging each other more than building a connection with me, I knew there was no more room for Whabooms or ketogenic diets.

I also sent Jamey home because although he was smart, polite and an interesting guy, when that chemistry isn’t there you just can’t force it. He’s everything I would want on paper, but when he asked me to mess up his hair I honestly never saw a person more uncomfortable with me than in that moment.  I don’t which one was wound up more tightly … Jamey or his hair.  

But visiting the set of Ellen this time around wasn’t about me, it was about my guys. I think at this point in the journey we had moved on from introductions and guys were trying really hard to make a serious connection. But love isn’t always serious … for me love has a lot of spontaneity, belly laughs and impromptu dance-offs. I got full dose of that when Ellen introduced my dates and told them they’d be dancing for cash right off the bat. I assumed the guys would play along –  but I had no idea that their shirts would be off in three seconds flat!

Things got more than skin deep when Ellen challenged them to a round of Never Have I Ever. In the span of a few minutes I learned Frederick kind of had a thing for older women, Alex was a serial monogamist and some of the guys aren’t as innocent as I thought. Ellen was really getting the dirt on them! And of course Alex won the trivia round — he’s as smart as he is handsome. That man is a Rubik’s cube that I’m having a great time trying to solve. Ladies, I repeat, we may have a unicorn in our midst.

Things got a little more serious at the after party in Hudson Loft in downtown Los Angeles. I had some really great conversations that allowed me to go below the surface with the guys.

For example, Bryan talked to me about his parents’ 35-plus-year marriage, their example of love and how he wanted a relationship that emulated their marriage. Additionally, Alex, who has all the tall-dark-and-handsome looks, smarts and charm to serial date as many women as he wants shared with me just how slow and serious he takes relationships. As refreshing as it was to hear from a man this experience doesn’t lend itself to such a pace. So when he went right in for the kiss he took my breath away. It was a relief that he was able to push beyond his comfort zone and share a romantic moment with me.

Frederick’s kiss, on the other hand, sealed the deal in different way. I just couldn’t get the mischievous little Frederick out of my head and just see him for the grown man he was. I really wanted to be open to the possibility of what we had, but after our kiss and him telling me about the future he sees with me … I knew I didn’t feel the same way. I had to say goodbye right then and there.

The one-on one-the next day was focused on a guy who I was attracted to physically and intellectually, but hadn’t shown me that fun side yet: Anthony. I saddled up in the midst of the glitz and glam of high-end stores on Rodeo Drive and waited for my cowboy. For never having ridden a horse, Anthony sure looked like a stud on top of that stallion. A lot of folks brag about rolling down Rodeo Drive in expensive cars, but nobody has done it on horseback! As Red and Ted, our horses, led the way from shop to shop, I really started to build a connection with Anthony.

Heading into the evening, I knew I had found that fun side I was looking for. I appreciated how candid Anthony was throughout Rodeo Drive and also during our dinner conversation. Obviously there was more to Anthony then meets the eye, and so I gave him the rose. Ending our night dancing under the stars was the perfect end to an amazing date.

For the last date of the week I picked up the guys from the mansion and let the squad take the wheel and plan the rest of the date. My friends mean everything to me, so if you want to me be my lover then you have to get along with my friends!

Per usual, the squad got the party started on the party bus when Kenny and the rest of the guys took turns showing me their dance moves and working the pole. I didn’t think things could get any dirtier until we walked in that dive bar and I saw a pool of mud surrounded by a crowd of thirsty women. Any date that requires you to don a plastic poncho while inside an establishment with a liquor license is going to be incredible. Can we also talk about every one of the guys were covered head to toe in mud after their match but Brady, who’s perfect hair somehow remained untouched? That’s impressive!

As much fun as watching Kenny suplex Lee in a kiddie pool was, getting opinions from the squad on the guys was the real highlight of the day for me. In their eyes, Dean might not have been their favorite at After the Final Rose, but on this date he redeemed himself. While Eric, who used to be their favorite, was now being questioned. Going into that evening, I knew that Eric and I would need some real valuable time.

When it came time for the after party the big thing that stood out was my conversation with Eric. I know some people may be surprised that I gave my rose to a man who had just questioned how seriously I was taking this journey, but I actually respected his candidness.

When I started going on group dates during Nick’s season, group dates were extremely difficult for me. Like Eric, I was skeptical that group dates could lead to an engagement, and it took time for me to realize they absolutely held opportunities to make real progress. Hearing Eric question the journey and my choices is the exact kind of direct conversation real couples have to undergo. Eric and I had an issue that we disagreed on, but we discussed said issue like adults, listened to each other and resolved this issue. These are the exact open and candid conversations I want to have in my relationships. Eric got the rose for challenging me, listening to me and keeping it 100.

Surprise, surprise, the cocktail party this week didn’t go anything like I planned. But to be totally honest next week’s doesn’t exactly finish the way I expected either. I find myself yet again in another cocktail party more emotional then I’d ever been with the guys. But it doesn’t end with me.

You’ll have to come back next week to see for yourself because, if you’re anything like me, you won’t believe how the disagreements, sleights and clashes of characters that started brewing in the mansion over the course of the last couple weeks unbeknownst to me boil over into complete meltdowns. These guys don’t just question each other’s intentions. They scream, they insult, they threaten — and I’m not happy about it!

Thanks for reading and continuing to be so supportive.

Love,
Rachel
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Re: Bachelorette 13 - Rachel Lindsay - ALL BLOGS- NO Discussion - *NO SPOILERS* - *SLEUTHING*

Post by Ladybug82 on Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:53 pm

Chris Harrison Blogs ‘The Bachelorette’ Week 2

Welcome back, Bachelor Nation. We’re only one week into dates and already the drama is off the charts. Blake and Lucas are at each other’s throats. DeMario and Lexi aren’t seeing eye-to-eye. The journey has only just begun but I have a feeling this season is going to be one of the craziest love stories ever told.

The first date was really a lot of fun. Mila and Ashton contacted us and let us know that they wanted to help Rachel find a man. They’re such a charming couple and so much fun, and that dynamic is exactly what Rachel is looking for. So, the men were put to the test. Changing diapers and vacuuming are only some of the things you’re going to have to do as a Dad, and if you’re serious about finding a wife, it’s time to learn how to accomplish these tasks. Also, we knew it was going to be very fun to watch.

Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis are #RelationshipGoals on 'The Bachelorette'
Ever since season 11 of The Bachelorette, when Jared Haibon was left broken-hearted by Kaitlyn Bristowe, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis have spent their Mondays watching the show. There was some talk at the time of Jared looking like Ashton, and once the Hollywood couple started watching, they couldn't stop. When it was announced that Rachel would be the next Bachelorette, Mila said they contacted the producers in an attempt to get on the show. So Ashton and Mila gave Rachel some #RelationshipGoals, as they helped her find out which guys were made of husband material. Ashton's first impression of the guys wasn't great, and he told his wife, "I'm gonna make a bold prediction at this point. I don't think Rachel's guy is in this group." Although, Mila urged him to give them some time, but Ashton made the point that he didn't need time to know she was wife material. Ashton said, "I knew on day one," to which Mila replied, "Someone's definitely getting laid tonight." Although, the That '70s Show stars weren't just there to be adorable, they were also there to officiate an obstacle course race between the guys. After Lucas ("Whaboom" guy) plowed through the competition, he won Rachel's heart. But what he really wanted was a "Whaboom" from Ashton. Unfortunately for Lucas, Ashton wasn't onboard the "Whaboom" train, and gave Lucas a foul for excessive celebration.
Anything is possible in this world, but absolutely no one thought Lucas was going to whaaaboooom his way to the top in that competition. Between his fevered pace and the incredibly brave stiff arm (also the endless patience of Kenny), Lucas came out on top, but his victory didn’t last long as Ashton shut down his request for a mutual whaaaboooom and Blake decided to put an end to Lucas’ tenure in the mansion.

The first night was bizarre. Between the nonsense fighting between Lucas and Blake and the fear the guys seemed to feel around Rachel, what usually is a romantic night took a turn for the weird. It wasn’t until after their rose that Dean finally got around to leaning in for the kiss, but when he did, it was a good one, as both he and Rachel attested.

The first one-on-one date went to Peter. Well, kind of. Rachel is a very devoted dog-mom and she really wanted to include Copper on her journey, so we made sure to help he plan a date that wasn’t only dog-friendly, it was dog-centric. Barkfest was a majestic sight to behold. Dog massages. Dogs on floats. Dog smoothies (for dogs, not made of them). And finally after all these years we have discovered exactly who let the dogs out. It was Peter. He left the sliding glass door open. Now we know.

Some first dates are just easy as can be and that was the case for Peter and Rachel. They were both so open and honest and they were really listening to each other. I know it seems obvious but so often people are just waiting for their turn to talk. These two were connecting. And there were fireworks. I’ll just leave that joke there for you to enjoy.

The final group date of the week was one I was really looking forward to. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is an absolute legend and to have him agree to come by and spend some time getting to know us and getting to know Rachel was a real pleasure. The guys were unbelievably excited and it was one of the more raucous crowds we’ve ever had at a Bachelor event. The game was just as intense as it looked, and I have to give it to one of the unsung heroes of the game. Matt — who you may remember wore a penguin costume on night one — was, in fact the game’s high scorer. He probably would’ve had more time to celebrate if the entire place hadn’t exploded when Lexi, who I had never met before in my life, dropped her bomb on the place.

It’s impossible to ever know the full story behind anything, but the fact that DeMario said “Who’s this?” when he saw Lexi says a lot. He was obviously thrown off and was incapable of even forming a sentence. We can get more into that next week, because as you can see, DeMario had some time to formulate his thoughts and returned to the mansion, in an Uber, apparently, to try to get a second chance. Will Rachel give it to him? We’ll find out next week! See you there.
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Re: Bachelorette 13 - Rachel Lindsay - ALL BLOGS- NO Discussion - *NO SPOILERS* - *SLEUTHING*

Post by Ladybug82 on Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:07 pm

Rachel Lindsay: Before Anger at DeMario Washed Over Me, This Bachelorette Guy Made Me Cry Tears of Happiness
BY RACHEL LINDSAY
POSTED ON MAY 30, 2017 AT 5:57PM EDT

Rachel Lindsay vied for Nick Viall‘s heart on season 21 of The Bachelor, now she’s on her own journey to find love on the latest season of The Bachelorette — and she’s blogging about it exclusively for PEOPLE! Follow Rachel on Twitter at @TheRachLindsay!

Hey Bachelor Nation, thanks for dropping back in to get the inside scoop. The first week seriously lit the fuse as far as both romance and the drama goes! I also want to take a second to thank you all for the outpouring of support I’ve gotten on social media and in person since this has all started. It feels like the whole world is my home team I’m thrilled and privileged to have you all pulling for me!

I woke up the morning after the meeting the guys to my dog Copper nuzzling my face with his wet little nose. While I was in Los Angeles preparing for this journey, Copper was involved in an accident that left one bone in his little paw broken. I knew I wouldn’t be able to focus on finding love if I left the most important piece of my heart back in Dallas. So right before the guys showed up I flew back, had his furry leg wrapped in a cast, and booked us both first class seats back to California. Truth is I needed him to comfort me as much as he needed me.

I thought I would be dead tired after having invested so much energy into giving each of my 31 suitors my undivided attention the night before, yet knowing I was about to kick off the very first date of the season had me up at the crack of dawn picking my outfits and getting dolled-up to go see my men.

I rolled up to the mansion and found the guys just getting settled after moving in. As good as these men looked in their suits, it was even better seeing them dressed down in their normal threads. When you’re dating this many guys you study every little detail you can get on them, including their style.

I’m very vocal at how much I struggled with the group dates on Nick’s season. It took me longer than it should have to open up to him and this time around I was focused on making personal connections no matter how many people were on the date. We started the day by lighting the BBQ and playing football, something I would do on any given weekend back home. Little did they know the real games were just beginning, any guy can cook a hot dog, so it was time to put these guys through the husband obstacle course I designed with my favorite celebrity couple.

I don’t know if I will ever fully grasp how huge Bachelor Nation is, but having Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis drop by to help officiate the date was a eureka moment that helped me realize even some of the biggest celebrities are actually huge fans of not just Bachelor Nation … but of me! Actually not even just fans, but super fans who unwind on Monday nights with a glass of wine and an episode just like us.

Ashton and Mila wasted no time sharing their first impressions of the guys with me. I had brought a diverse group of guys on this date, real dads like Kenny, young bachelors like Dean, and everything in between. I wasn’t just looking to see who could set the table for dinner, I wanted to see who could focus on me and not just fanboy over Ashton and Mila. I could tell Ashton wasn’t feeling Lucas’ comedy bits, but he was a fair referee and in the end declared Lucas champion. I can’t tell you how shocked the rest of the guys looked.

The after party at the art warehouse turned out to be great chance to get to know the guys on a deeper level because they came in ready to share. Lucas actually got serious for a split second and surprised me. In the end Dean used his time that evening to make the strongest and most natural romantic connection. I felt a spark between us I wanted to grow and so I gave him the rose. It was like giving Popeye a can of spinach because suddenly he had the confidence to walk me outside and kiss me. It was a tough call who to give it to, but that made me feel like I made the right one.

The next day I got to take Peter on my very first one-on-one date! Peter struck me as a man who is incredibly down to earth … especially for being so handsome. The way his hands were shaking when he first met me the first night was so endearing. Our conversations and romantic moments flowed with an ease that was completely different than any other relationship I’ve had before. I couldn’t help but tease him about this date actually being a two-on-one and I knew if we were going to work I had to introduce him to the other man in life. He seemed a little confused and nervous until my dog Copper jumped out of his chauffeured car and ran up the tarmac into the private jet.

Peter seemed to win over Copper just as fast as he won me over. Among all the doggy fun Peter did something off camera that made me cry tears of happiness. Without telling me or anyone else he snuck away from the date to give a homeless man his sandwich. Take the rose Peter, it’s all yours. The fireworks were going off in my heart long before the real ones shot off into the desert night sky.  

The basketball group date the next day wasn’t just a game for me — sports are my life! It felt so nice to kick off the heels and lace up some Space Jam Jordans and show my men another side of Rachel. Having Kareem Adbul Jabbar swing by the gym to help me put these guys through the paces had me fangirling so hard, keep it together Rachel, he’s too old for you!

When game time rolled around I was so impressed by all the guys I found myself in the cheerleader section shouting at the top of my lungs. From DeMario dunking on everyone to guys like Lee who were weren’t ballers but had heart and that precious ability to have fun even when challenged, the day couldn’t have been going any better.

Then the entire date fell apart.

After the game a young woman pull me aside before we could head to the after party and reminded me that this journey wasn’t all fun and games, it was also an emotional minefield. All I asked was everyone keep it 100 with me. I can forgive past mistakes and understand how someone could come to this experience having recently ended a relationship, but what I can’t put up with is some idiot trying to play me.

This woman explained coherently how DeMario had never ended their relationship and just ghosted her when he moved into the mansion. I grabbed DeMario to hear his side of the story and his first reaction was pretending he didn’t even recognize this woman he had been in relationship with for months!

It took 10 minutes of listening to DeMario talk in contradictions and circles, change his story, mix up his dates and make every other stupid move players go to when caught, before I stopped letting him dig his grave any deeper and just kicked his azz to the curb. I’m a very chill person … until I’m not.

Once he was gone I started reeling from the realization that, throughout this journey, at any second, things could completely change in the worst way.

I was worried I wouldn’t be able to get back in the right head space at the after party that night. Luckily the concern and honesty the remaining guys approached me with that night carried my head and heart back to where they needed to be. It was clear to me that first impressions were already over and the men were trying to make connections.

Josiah out of all of them seemed the most affected by DeMario’s lies because he felt the closest to him in the house. He felt played, too — we shared that. Then he opened in more detail about how he became a prosecutor, the challenges that he faced as a child and how they made him the man that was sitting before me. I gave him the rose that night because our moments together resonated deeper than I had expected and it was clear that even when hurt himself, his focus was still on protecting me.

Going into the cocktail party the very next evening I thought we had pumped the brakes on the drama and I would finally be able to focus on finding the relationships that had a future, not a past. I was wrong. The guys in the house seemed to have gotten to know each other well enough that they felt they needed to warn me about each other instead of letting me figure it out myself.

The past beef Blake and Lucas shared from both being on a prior dating show had gotten packed in their luggage and brought to the mansion. Blake warned me Lucas was not genuine, Lucas warned me Blake was watching him sleep and doing shameful things with produce from the kitchen. I like a corny joke, but Lucas had run out of good material — or maybe it was just never there — and Blake spent so much time focused on getting back at Lucas for past sleights instead of on me, I was really questioning his intentions.

Then Chris Harrison interrupted the cocktail party and asked to speak with me and I knew something serious was about to go down. I love Chris, he’s my rock through the good and bad times, he’s challenged me when I needed it and comforted me too. But there are certain situations where he walks in and you just know the news isn’t going to be good.

Then he told me DeMario had Uber-ed his way back into my life. I felt a wave of anger wash over me. I thought about leaving him out in the driveway and not wasting another second of my time on him when there were so many guys who were still waiting for an opportunity to share my company, yet something in my gut told me to hear him out. I hate going through life leaving loose ends, wondering what if, so I needed to know if he was here to apologize or to offer up more excuses and lies.

Thanks for hearing me out guys. Writing is actually a creative passion of mine, and I love sharing as much of my journey with you as I can.

Check in next week to get the scoop on the return of DeMario, the end of the most dramatic cocktail party of my season, the return of a few familiar faces and the dirtiest group date in Bachelorette history. Yes, that seriously all happens in one week. Thanks for reading!

Sincerely,
Rachel
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Re: Bachelorette 13 - Rachel Lindsay - ALL BLOGS- NO Discussion - *NO SPOILERS* - *SLEUTHING*

Post by Ladybug82 on Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:33 pm

Rachel Lindsay: How I Overcame Panic When the First Bachelorette Guy Said He Was Falling for Me
BY RACHEL LINDSAY
POSTED ON JUNE 27, 2017 AT 3:56PM EDT

Rachel Lindsay vied for Nick Viall‘s heart on season 21 of The Bachelor, now she’s on her own journey to find love on the latest season of The Bachelorette — and she’s blogging about it exclusively for PEOPLE! Follow Rachel on Twitter at @TheRachLindsay!

Hey guys, I’m back with the scoop on another exciting week of romance and I hate to say it … D-R-A-M-A!

Let’s pick things back up at the after party of the spelling bee date. That night I was suffering from a pretty bad cold. I wasn’t kidding when I had been telling the men I was contagious. But let’s just say that didn’t stop men like Bryan and Peter from going in for some romantic moments, or Will taking the time to make me a hot toddy to sooth my sore throat.

The one thing that toddy couldn’t soothe, however, was the drama between Lee and Kenny. That’s why I made the decision that the last date of the week had to be a two-on-one with Lee and Kenny. But more on that later — let’s not get ahead of ourselves!

The next morning I was happy to get a break from the group date drama and bring Jack on my favorite kind of date: tasty food, great music and a cool local fair. I ate my very first oyster on my one-on-one with Nick in New Orleans last season, and now here I was staring down a couple buckets of un-shucked shellfish with Jack. We didn’t know if the locals were just bragging about having the best oysters in the world or maybe shucking your own does make them taste better, but Jack and I were about to find out.

After what felt like 100 oysters later, I can honestly say they were the best I’ve ever had! But little did I know the shucking was just the foreplay to the “shagging” (it’s not what you think!) that was about to go down. Learning the shag with Jack was a blast. I mean who knew South Carolina had an official state dance?

On paper Jack and I are a perfect match, and this date was quickly showing me we could be a great match in real life too. Jack dings a lot of the boxes I am looking for in a husband: caring (check), career-oriented (check), handsome (check). And yet, heading into our dinner that evening, I felt like there was just one box left unchecked: the “special spark” box.

When we sat down and really explored our connection, I wanted it to be there. But it wasn’t. Everything about him seemed right. I remember thinking that it would be so easy to go back to Dallas with Jack. But I’m not looking for easy in this journey. I’m looking for extraordinary. I’m looking for a man who I see and it makes me melt. I’m looking for the man I cannot imagine a day without him being in my life. I’m looking for the unexplainable connection and spark — real, true love.

I could take Jack on a dozen more dates and enjoy each one of them but I just couldn’t see him as my husband, and when I realized this, I decided to say goodbye right then and there. As hard as it was, I knew that it was better to send him home now rather than to allow feelings to progress knowing that mine would not. As I watched him drive away I knew that all the breakups from this point on were going to be very, very difficult.

Something that you don’t see in the episode is that when I canceled the cocktail party after saying goodbye to Jack, I stopped by the guys’ suite. It had been a long evening, but on the ride back I pushed myself to search my heart and explore the potential of each of the remaining relationships. I knew how I felt and knew that a cocktail party would only delay the inevitable. I could see the disappointment in their eyes and felt the weight of that on me, but I just hoped that by the time I saw them again at the rose ceremony they would understand and respect my decision.

Having said goodbye to three genuinely great guys finally put the tough part of the week behind me. It was a relief to lighten the mood and finally deliver a surprise I knew would blow the dress socks off these guys. We were heading to Oslo, Norway … a place not a single one of us had ever been to!

I like to keep the guys on their toes, so as soon as they got into Oslo, I nabbed Bryan for the first one-on-one date of the week. I vividly recall getting Nick’s First Impression Rose last season, and how excruciating it was to wait for that first one-on-one. But Bryan made it clear he had never let that spark fade. In fact, he had let that spark build into a roaring four-alarm blaze.

Like I’ve said, I absolutely love the dates that let us hit the town and explore the local culture. But a little known fact about me is that I hate weird food. Not just food that tastes weird, but even food that has a weird sounding name … like squash or beets (I know — very basic of me.)  I always say I am only boring when it comes to food. If you would have told me at any point in my life that I’d eat a sheep’s testicle on a date someday, I would have laughed in your face and probably slapped it too. Well, the possibility of love makes you do crazy things, so having a bite of the local sheep’s testicle did not stop me on my date with Bryan. And don’t even get me started on rappelling from the ski jump. Between laughing and screaming, I don’t think I took a breath until my toes touched the ground and I was safely in Bryan’s arms.

That night, Bryan not only showed me that our emotional connection had caught up to our physical chemistry, he told me he was falling in love! I thought I had banished old “scared-of-vocalizing-feelings Rachel” before this journey had started, but suddenly that old fearful me was in my chair staring across the dinner table at Bryan and starting to panic.

But something changed that night, and I was able to push past my old familiar fears and really take in the feelings behind Bryan’s words. Bryan’s vulnerability challenged me to reciprocate that vulnerability. I was developing feelings, too, and that knot of fear in my stomach turned into butterflies. I’ve always liked butterflies.

The handball group date the next day was my favorite competitive and athletic date of the season, probably because of the singlets the guys had to wear. That and also because I got to play along and score some points myself. The singlets prank was a joke Coach Tom and the Norwegian handball players helped me set up but when I saw all that man meat tucked in such a small amount of spandex I conveniently forgot to let them in on the gag. The real hand ball jerseys remained hidden from them, and I made them play in the singlets the whole game. Oops!    You’re welcome ladies!

And can we spend two seconds on Will!? He was so sick during warmups, I had to check on him just to make sure he still had a pulse. Then, I watched him come alive and score 10 goals?! I mean come on, that’s heart! Even Coach Tom was a little impressed (emphasis on “little”).

It was nice to see the guys all having fun and being flirty on a group date for once and no one at each other’s throats, but maybe that’s because Kenny and Lee were back at the hotel. I ended up giving Will the rose that night. It wasn’t because he was the best handball player, because if that was the case I would have ended up kissing Coach Tom. It was because Will made a huge effort not to just be more romantic with me but explain the hurt he had recently experienced that had made his heart gun-shy in the dates leading up to that night.

And now for the most challenging date of the season thus far — the two-on-one. At this point in the journey, I absolutely couldn’t handle anymore strife between the remaining men. I was just over it. There were times when both Kenny and Lee communicated they were past the drama and focused on me, but I could feel and literally hear the discontent between them during cocktail parties and group dates. It was time to put this beast to bed.

I flew them out to a remote and gorgeous Norwegian forest where there was nothing that could distract us from the elephant in the fjord. What started out as just pleasant conversations focusing on the men sitting in front of me soon turned into a back-and-forth of contradicting allegations. It was so hard to know who to trust. The moment I stepped away to think was when things between Kenny and Lee came to an explosive head.

Next week you’ll see the climax of what was the most hostile feud of the season, and maybe in Bachelor history. But the goodbyes don’t end there … the next couple of dates are full of blood, sweat and tears as I continue to navigate through this journey. It will all end well, I promise you, but it sure won’t be easy getting there. Stay with me.

Xoxo,
Rachel

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Re: Bachelorette 13 - Rachel Lindsay - ALL BLOGS- NO Discussion - *NO SPOILERS* - *SLEUTHING*

Post by Ladybug82 on Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:02 pm

Chris Harrison Blogs ‘The Bachelorette’ Episode 7

Welcome back, Bachelor Nation! Once again we had to wait two weeks to see more of Rachel’s love story unfold, but now we are back — and we hope you’re ready for luxury, glamour, and romance in Geneva, Switzerland, which was our last international stop before heading to hometown dates.

With only six men remaining, Rachel had three one-on-one dates and a three-on-one date. We decided to do things a little differently this year and gave Rachel roses on all her dates, even in the final week before hometowns. That really changed the game a lot, and it also meant Rachel was faced with tough decisions. Rather than having a full week to decide who she wants to give roses to, she had to end each date deciding if that individual man would receive a hometown rose or not. That was very different and it threw everyone off their game.

No one had it rougher this week than Matt and Adam, who both ended up very unlucky as a result of these changes and never got 1-on-1 dates. It also really put new pressures on Bryan, Dean, and Peter to get those hometown roses and make sure they got a chance to introduce Rachel to their families.

Bryan’s date was the high end Geneva most of us only ever see in movies. And yes, Rachel and Bryan did keep those Breitling watches, a fact that definitely made the other fellows jealous. Bryan really opened up to Rachel about how bad things went last time he brought someone home to meet his family. Will things happen the same way again for him? We’ll find out next week for sure, now that we know he will be getting a hometown date.

Dean’s date was beautiful, and it was Easter Sunday in Geneva. Their tour of the town was gorgeous and amazing and all the things you could ever expect from a Bachelorette date, but the conversation during the day did not dive below the surface, and that was very frustrating to Rachel. Thankfully, she called him out on it at night and they talked through his unconventional upbringing, something I know Rachel did not judge him on. I completely understand why Dean would be so reticent to bring someone home, particularly because he hasn’t kept so close to his family in recent years, but I’m really glad he believed that Rachel would see him for who he was as an individual and they both decided to visit Colorado to meet Dean’s family.

Peter’s date was maybe the most emotional. Beyond the fact that the clouds came in over Glacier 3000 and almost swallowed them whole, Peter opened up to Rachel about how difficult this whole experience was for him. Rachel didn’t have an easy ride on Nick’s season either, so she was more than a little bit empathetic to the whole thing. Peter has been a slow mover and while Rachel really wants to help him open up, this setback did create a little bit of fear inside of her, wondering if Peter was going to be able to ever let go and just let himself fall. I think she believes he can, but he has definitely raised her level of awareness moving forward. He got the rose, of course, and it wasn’t long before it became clear that the final date of the week was going to be a three-on-one date. One rose, three men — the first one in Bachelor history.

And it didn’t disappoint. It was such a difficult day for Rachel, and understandably so, as she had to say goodbye to two great men. Even though you didn’t get to see as much of Matt and Adam, Rachel spent a lot of time with them and got to know them really, really well. They were a big part of her journey and her love story, and I would be lying if I didn’t say that this was the hardest day for Rachel so far. Eric, a man who got his first one-on-one date just last week in Copenhagen, got the rose and will be taking Rachel back to Baltimore to meet the most important people in his life.

And now we are heading back to America to meet the families of Peter, Dean, Eric, and Bryan. Next week we will learn so much more about these four amazing men. We will see you then!
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Re: Bachelorette 13 - Rachel Lindsay - ALL BLOGS- NO Discussion - *NO SPOILERS* - *SLEUTHING*

Post by Ladybug82 on Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:58 pm

Rachel Lindsay's Bachelorette Blog: This Is the Week I Really Fell in Love
BY RACHEL LINDSAY
POSTED ON JULY 11, 2017 AT 5:40PM EDT

Rachel Lindsay vied for Nick Viall‘s heart on season 21 of The Bachelor, now she’s on her own journey to find love on the latest season of The Bachelorette — and she’s blogging about it exclusively for PEOPLE! Follow Rachel on Twitter at @TheRachLindsay!

Welcome back Bachelor Nation. This is the week I really fell in love — with Geneva that is! This city is one of the most darling destinations in the world I’ve ever had the pleasure of exploring. It also happens to be the setting for one of the most emotional weeks in this entire experience. I can’t tell you how difficult it was to choose which of these amazing men I would ask to take me to their hometowns, but I’ll try to explain it all right now.  

One sentiment Chris Harrison shared with me from very beginning is that there are no rules on this journey. Knowing this week was the last opportunity to test each of my remaining relationships before heading into the unknown waters of hometowns, I chose to forego a rose ceremony at the end of the week and give one rose on each of the four dates I had planned. If I waited I knew I would get in my head and I would start applying that lawyer logic to judgments that are best made with my heart. In my heart I knew the greater the risk, the greater the reward, but I totally underestimated the emotional toll it would take on me.

That being said, the decision to make that change didn’t make the week any easier. Pulling Bryan for the first date of the week, his second one-on-one date with me, was the right choice for our relationship at the time. I knew that. But doing it in front of both Adam and Matt, who had not had a one-on-one date yet, was more difficult than I had expected.

In a perfect world I would have enough roses and time to take every guy on multiple one-on-one dates until all my decisions could be made with complete confidence. But that’s not the reality of this journey. At times I had to be selfish and focus on the relationships that held the most potential. Some dates just lend themselves better to certain men. Some more passionate connections needed extra focus to make sure the feelings were genuine before hometowns. Other relationships that weren’t quite as far along could still get there with the right conversations on a group date. I prayed the men understood that my intentions and decisions were not completely selfish because every single one was made with the ultimate goal of making one of these men the happiest and most loved husband they ever dreamed they could be.

Kicking things off, the date with Bryan was all about embracing the luxurious lifestyle Geneva offers. It is one of the most glamorous cities in all of Europe. Rolling up to the Breitling store in a Bentley and perusing the gold- and diamond-encrusted watches could have gone straight to my head as fast as the champagne we sipped on as we shopped. Yet, when I chose the two watches for us to keep, it wasn’t about the bling. It was about owning a token that represented a time when we were both falling for each other that could be held on to for decades. Even to pass down to our children if the relationship kept going in the right direction.

Sitting down to dinner that night, I wanted to dig into Bryan’s past relationships. Our time together had been so effortless and smooth that I wanted to know more about how he handled difficult times in his love life. He had touched on his last serious relationship ending because his ex-girlfriend had a tumultuous introduction to his family. Seeing how we had only touched on that issue and it was never resolved, that was something I needed to know more about before I could decide if I was ready to go home with him to Miami. But just as he had quelled all my fears of his charm being insincere weeks ago, his honesty about past commitment issues and how he’s moved past them eased my anxiety again. The night ended with him dancing his way into a hometown with me in his arms.

After such a glamorous date with Bryan, I wanted to experience a different side of Geneva with Dean. Church is very important in my life, but I’d never been to a Catholic mass. I figured attending a service together would be a unique way to experience Sunday as Genevans do. This Catholic mass sure was different from my services at home, but it felt really great to have a day to reflect and pray.

After mass, Dean and I met with the congregation for coffee and breakfast pastries next door. We met the locals and asked them all about Geneva. One man in particular was very taken with us. He wouldn’t stop talking, but about … what? I couldn’t tell you! He kept going and going — in FRENCH! Dean and I didn’t have the heart to stop him so we just smiled and nodded. Eventually we said our goodbyes and continued on to explore the rest of Geneva.

Dean was cute and fun during our morning at mass and afternoon exploring Geneva’s old town, but I already knew that side of him. We needed to take our conversation to a more profound place to see if this relationship could have depth. But Dean didn’t seem ready to go there yet. Something was holding him back and he kept steering the conversation back to dinosaurs and tooth fairies. Going into the dinner portion I was skeptical I would be handing out a rose that night. He had one chance to change my mind.  

Then once again Dean completely shocked me with his candidness and courage. As he shared the extent of which the loss of his mother as teenager led to him feeling abandoned by his remaining family. I began to understand why he fled serious topics earlier.

I hadn’t realized how hard it must have been to be in the hotel suite with all the other guys who were so excited about potentially having me meet their families when Dean was so afraid to introduce me to his. The fact that he delved into details regarding his difficult past, details he told me he had never shared with even his closest friends, made me realize just how much of his heart he was putting on the line for me.

I knew giving him a rose meant going to a hometown that wasn’t going to be stress-free. I knew it might get very painful for him, yet I didn’t hesitate. I wanted to be there for him. I wanted to support him. That’s how I knew I was falling for him. When Dean opens up he is truly one of the most beautiful people you will ever meet.

After mass, Dean and I met with the congregation for coffee and breakfast pastries next door. We met the locals and asked them all about Geneva. One man in particular was very taken with us. He wouldn’t stop talking, but about … what? I couldn’t tell you! He kept going and going — in FRENCH! Dean and I didn’t have the heart to stop him so we just smiled and nodded. Eventually we said our goodbyes and continued on to explore the rest of Geneva.

Dean was cute and fun during our morning at mass and afternoon exploring Geneva’s old town, but I already knew that side of him. We needed to take our conversation to a more profound place to see if this relationship could have depth. But Dean didn’t seem ready to go there yet. Something was holding him back and he kept steering the conversation back to dinosaurs and tooth fairies. Going into the dinner portion I was skeptical I would be handing out a rose that night. He had one chance to change my mind.  

Then once again Dean completely shocked me with his candidness and courage. As he shared the extent of which the loss of his mother as teenager led to him feeling abandoned by his remaining family. I began to understand why he fled serious topics earlier.

I hadn’t realized how hard it must have been to be in the hotel suite with all the other guys who were so excited about potentially having me meet their families when Dean was so afraid to introduce me to his. The fact that he delved into details regarding his difficult past, details he told me he had never shared with even his closest friends, made me realize just how much of his heart he was putting on the line for me.

I knew giving him a rose meant going to a hometown that wasn’t going to be stress-free. I knew it might get very painful for him, yet I didn’t hesitate. I wanted to be there for him. I wanted to support him. That’s how I knew I was falling for him. When Dean opens up he is truly one of the most beautiful people you will ever meet.

My last one-on-one was with Peter. Our relationship at that point had been exceptional in that while it always felt as strong as any other, Peter is very cautious with the words that have to do with love. He will make you feel love in so many different little ways, like gifts or how he is also completely focused on me in every moment we share no matter how crazy things all around us may be.

I admit I struggle with the word love, too, and like the little gap in our smiles it’s actually endearing that we share that. I left my struggle, however, back on Nick’s season. I promised myself that I would be open to love and completely put myself and my heart out there because that is the only way this was going to work for me.  Remember … the greater the risk, the greater the reward. So the question is becoming, Is Peter willing to let himself go and take the same risks with me?

I took Peter in the helicopter to Glacier 3000 because he is so down-to-earth that even the most extreme dates don’t distract him from focusing on the relationship. Our helicopter ride up to the glacier and our dog sled ride was breathtaking. I remember thinking nothing could take away from this moment.

However, the more we talking about our relationship and how he was feeling, I felt the storm coming in — and it wasn’t just emotionally. During our conversation on the mountain we actually had to hold filming because of a crazy whiteout snowstorm that blew in. After spending the day on the glacier with Peter, I left with mixed feelings. He had admitted the connection I had with the other men made him unsure at times whether he would invite me to meet his family. It was a reminder that the men had the biggest decision of the season to make this week too. More so than accepting a rose, accepting me into their family’s homes was a leap of faith. I appreciated his honestly but more than ever I feared Peter would never be able to take the risks that one must take to get engaged on this journey.

My conversation over dinner that evening gave me more insight into Peter’s reluctance to say everything was going to work out for us in the end. He was blunt about his uncertainty about being ready to propose. Watching how emotional he became while talking about leaving his ex-girlfriend told me that he was as afraid to break my heart as I was to have it broken. Yet when Peter looked into my eyes and told me he didn’t throw the word love around carelessly yet saw himself on the path to being in love with me, I felt assured it was worth it to risk to move forward to his hometown and see if we could get to that place together.

The last date of the week brought Eric, Adam, Matt and myself to a château in France to determine who the final man to get a hometown would be. We had already been all around Europe and I felt so grateful to continue to explore yet another country on this journey. There was also something very romantic about being in France to make the final decision; however, going into the day I was actually distraught. The concern that Adam and Matt would be upset with me that I hadn’t given them a one-on-one and we wouldn’t be able to get past that frustration to really see if our relationship held the potential for a hometown was a huge weight on me. I promised myself I wouldn’t let my irritation at the situation take away from the important conversations I was about to have. I don’t know if I could have kept that promise if Matt and Adam hadn’t been so strong.

Matt was as sweet as ever when we spoke and respected the difficult decisions I had made when dividing up my time between the men that week. As I spoke with Matt I realized that he never gave himself the time that he needed to allow himself to pursue me unrestrained. Maybe he was just nervous, or it was the environment? But in reality, he hadn’t been able to get there yet and there were times when he would pull back or tread water with me.

I sobbed saying goodbye to Matt because he reminded me so much of myself. For a moment I remembered what it was like when I was back in Finland after Nick just broke my heart and knowing Matt was experiencing something similar just broke me down. Yet Matt, the gentlest soul I ever knew, somehow ended up comforting me during our goodbye.

My goodbye with Adam later was equally difficult. Although we hadn’t had much one-on-one time together, he always made the most of the time we did share. In the beginning I felt some of his efforts to convince me we had something special felt forced. But that night, looking back on our time together, I knew his creative and thoughtful efforts were genuine. He always put forth the effort and could without a doubt make me laugh. Our feelings were just in different places and I wasn’t sure more time could bring us together.

This journey brought me some men I will never forget, and Adam is certainly one of them. I am a person that does not live with regrets; so saying goodbye to them was bittersweet. They are both amazing men and I know that they’ll both make women very happy one day.

My saving grace after those two goodbyes was having Eric waiting for me, confident and ready to take me back to Baltimore even after sharing how difficult his family situation was growing up. I knew the next week ahead was going to give me so much insight into Peter, Dean, Bryan and Eric and how they became the amazing men they are today. I was truly honored they had accepted my roses and agreed to let me into such an intimate part of their lives knowing many of them had never really brought a woman home to meet their families.

The hometowns next week are truly unbelievable. Some are splendid, others are more perplexing than anyone could have imagined and each will show a much a deeper side of these guys. Dean’s unorthodox hometown proves his restrained relationship with his father to be just as challenging as he’d been preparing me for. However, I found myself unaware of what had really been brewing under the surface that evening. Not until watching back did I see just how emotional that night really was.

Next week poses more questions than ever. Will Peter finally say the word love or will Eric or Dean be the next to go all in? You’ll see it all next Monday when we take it back to the States.

Love,
Rachel
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